At the end of 2019, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that in 2019, many more people needed humanitarian assistance than had been forecast, largely because of conflicts and extreme climate events. Donors provided a record $16 billion for inter-agency appeals between January and November 2019. Humanitarian needs being on the rise globally, there is more pressure on international organizations and states to provide funding and aid to countries affected by natural or human-made disasters. In order to respond in a somewhat coherent manner, the international community has been undergoing the organization and re-organization of its system since mid-1990s. At the moment, the humanitarian community is organized in a hierarchical, although voluntary, network of organizations and designated positions that are formed and activated in situations of disasters and declared humanitarian crises. The system however struggles to keep pace with politics, changing and violent nature of armed conflicts, climate change and so on. One of the system's key objectives of meeting the life-saving needs of the disaster-affected populations remains inadequately fulfilled or is marred by problems of various nature. Information and information collection and analysis stands at the center of humanitarian work and its objective to meet vulnerable populations needs.
Two humanitarian practitioners will provide an introduction to the international humanitarian response, its principles, actors, challenges and dilemmas, zooming in on fundamental concepts of information management and assessments as they inform funding and programmatic decisions at the heart of humanitarian response. The Do No Harm concept, human rights and humanitarian principles will be used to reveal dilemmas humanitarian workers face in the field.
Ivana Vuco is a second year doctoral student at the CEU's Department of Environmental Science and Policy. She also serves as a regional humanitarian advisor with the Office of the U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), an office within the larger United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Previously she worked with the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) and the UN's human rights office (OHCHR).
Daunia Pavone is Italian and Canadian aid worker, with over 15 years of professional experience on Information Management, Assessments, Programmes, Protection and Adult Education/Trainings in more than 16 countries, as well as at Regional and Global level, with National and International NGOs, UNHCR, IOM, OCHA, WFP, Red Cross and DRC.